SOME WRITING AND BOOK REVIEW GUIDELINES
Use the following format to provide all bibliographic information at top
For articles in journals--
Last Name of Author, First Name. "Title of Article."Journal
or Book Title Italicizedor Underlined Vol No. (Date of Publication), Pages.
Number of illustrations.
Last Name of Author, First Name. Book Title Italicized or
Underlined. Place of Publication: Publisher, Date of Publication. Number of
Your review should contain the following:
1.) a summary of the author's main points;
2.) a list of the sources and materials which the author used to make this point;
3.) your evaluation of the author's argument.
These three features should be integrated together into your review rather than be treated
Early in the review you should state clearly and succinctly what the author's main point
is. In the body of the review you should summarize this point and evaluate it. Accompany
both summary and evaluation with discussion of the kinds of evidence the author uses to
make this point. In classical papers, this evidence can include not only ancient materials
like artwork, archaeological finds, and literary materials, but also modern scholarship.
If you make reference to particular pieces of evidence, be sure you provide your reader
with enough bibliographic information to find this evidence through a standard library or
Your evaluation should focus on the author's main point rather than on the way the author
makes this point. Your review should avoid words like "boring,"
"uninteresting," etc. You may criticize in passing the author's writing style
but you should highlight the (in)effectiveness of the author's argumentation rather than
the author's style of presentation. Do you think that the author has proven the point of
the article? Why or why not?
Refer to the author by name rather than to the article. Don't write "The article
states...." Instead write "In this article NAME OF AUTHOR states..."
If the piece is illustrated, be sure to discuss the illustrations. What kind objects are
illustrated? What kind of illustrations (color, black-and-white, photographs or figures)?
How do these illustrations relate to the author's point?
Be sure you use correct spelling and grammar.
Avoid addressing the reader as "you." Assume that you are writing for a general
reader who knows nothing about this topic and who needs everything explained.
This material has been published on the web by Prof.
Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can
contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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